UK retailers ready to share pre-owned revenue if Online Pass is given the boot

By on January 12, 2012

But will the publishers come to an agreement?

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A number of UK retailers are ready to strike a deal with publishers that involves sharing pre-owned game revenue.

Speaking to MCV, the majority of the UK retailers have agreed to partake in such a deal if they get “something” in return and if the infamous Online Pass system is given the boot.

“As a retail store we would happily share part of the sale from a used game if we get something in return. Perhaps new games at better prices and no more online codes,” said Gamespod’s Gordon Crawford.

“If you want to stop these one-time codes then yeah, fair enough, we’ll share revenues. If publishers gave me a better deal, then maybe. The publishers are not the poor man here,” Julian Slater of Bits and Pieces said.

“We all know how the business model in the industry is changing. So if there is any merit in this idea then it may be worth looking into,” an HMV representative added.

“We’d definitely like to [share revenue], but I don’t see it being something publishers would implement,” Xpress Games’ Chris Muckell said. “With new releases dropping in price after just the second week, I’d have thought their investments would be better in making money from DLC.”

Online Pass was first introduced by EA to combat pre-owned sales. The ‘pass’ requires second-hand buyers to dole out $10 to play the game online (if the original buyer has already used the included online code with the copy). The system was quickly picked up by other major publishers, including Sony, THQ, Ubisoft, etc.

Could such a deal be possible? Probably. The aim of the Online Pass system is to bring in some revenue from buyers who purchased the game from someone else. If the revenue piece is larger than the $10-flow the publishers are currently receiving, we could finally see the Online Pass system dug and buried. But will they listen?


Mufaddal Fakhruddin is the Editor for IGN ME and thinks writing in third person about himself in an about me section is weird.

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